William McNamee, a company driver for Carbon Express, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for rescuing a man by pulling him out of a van that had crashed in front of him on I-64 in Okawville, Ill.
McNamee, who’s been a driver for 22 years, was heading eastbound when a utility van passing him suddenly blew a tire and the van careened into the ditch in the median then back onto the highway.
The van flipped and landed on its side straddling both lanes on the Interstate. McNamee positioned his truck to protect the van and called 911.
He then got out to help. Gas was leaking from the van, so McNamee climbed onto the van’s side, opened the door and pulled the van’s driver out with the help of two others who had stopped.
McNamee, a resident of Christopher, Ill., is also a volunteer firefighter and first responder, so he checked the van driver’s vital signs. The man did not have any life threatening injuries. McNamee then waited with him until police arrived.
“For me, it was no different than responding to an emergency by way of a fire engine,” McNamee said. “You can’t just barge in there. You have to stay calm. I am just blessed to have that [first responder] training and that it allowed me to help someone when they needed it most.”
As a TCA Highway Angel, McNamee has received a lapel pin, a certificate and a patch.